Tuesday, 30 June 2015

My UTMB attempt moves a month closer!

As June has been and gone I am now 8-9 weeks away from my first 100+ mile race and preparations are going well... So far! 

Any one who isn't sure what the UTMB is, it stands for the Ultra Trail Du Mont Blanc and is a single-stage mountain ultra marathon. It takes place once a year in the Alps, across France, Italy and Switzerland. The distance is approximately 170 kilometres (106 mi), with a total elevation gain of around 10,000 meters. It is widely regarded as one of the most difficult foot races in Europe.
UTMB Course Map.

This has been my target race for all this year and will be my biggest challenge yet.. Obviously I would like to run well and get a good time for the course but I feel that I am going to complete the race and will go back in time to come to be in a better place to race around! A lot can happen in a 24 hour + race but I am setting a very rough time of 30 hours to complete. Where there this will happen on the day we will find out but I'm sure I'll enjoy every step of the way and gain life time experience along the course. 
On way my to 8th at this years Snowdon Twilight race.

I have used the month of June more for speed work and shorter races, as I don't want to completely loose speed as I run distances. Many top world class ultra runners state that speed work is still as important to ultra runners then to shorter distance runners. I have raced distances from 5km to half marathons including uphill mountain races through out the month. A summary of my June races can be seen below: 
  • 13th June, Rock & Roll Liverpool 5km - 16:53 (1st Overall out of 1396 runners)
  • 14th June, Rock & Roll Liverpool Half Marathon - 79:49 Suffered from a very tight hamstring after the first 8km (18th Overall out of 5530 runners)
  • 21st June, Stone 10km - 34:23 (6th Overall out of 512 runners) I was apart of the North Wales team Vs the Staffs team.
  • 26th June, Snowdon Twilight Uphill 8km with 1000 meters of ascent - 51:56 (8th Overall out of 103 runners)
  • 27th June, Conwy Parkrun - 17:43 (2nd out of 175 runners)
  • 28th June, RunFest Wales 5km - 16:49 (1st out of 86 runners) 
Running for North Wales Regional Squad at the Stone 10km.
July is going to be more longer runs and building up the leg strength for the alpine climbs around my 100 mile race.. The next 10 weeks is all going to be a learning curve for me from training to racing for over 24hours in one go! But any one who knows me, I am going to give it 110% on the day and will do everything I can to complete this challenging event. 

People have asked me how I got into ultra running and what makes it different..?! All I ever say is give it a go and you'll be hooked. I've listed a couple of events below from a mixture of a starting ultra to an ultra for someone who wants to challenge them selfs! 

Ennerdale 50km - A great lower lever race around the beautiful lake of Ennerdale. A great mixture of fire road trails, single tracks and a small technical section along the return leg of the race. More details here: http://www.highterrainevents.co.uk/#!ennerdale-trail-run/c22jn
Ennerdale Ultra Trail 50km 

SkyRunning UK 3x3000 Ultra Trail - Based on the classic Lakes 3000's but eliminating the long road sections this will be an 80k off road route incorporating Scafell Pike, Helvellyn and Skiddaw, starting and finishing in Keswick.
From the boulder fields of Scafell Pike to the smooth grassy ridge running of the Dodds, the route combines all the elements of a classic Lakeland run combined with aspects of european style ultra running. More Details here: http://www.highterrainevents.co.uk/#!3x3000-/cfib 

3x3000 Ultra Trail

Or if you'd like a very friendly and experienced team to cover everything ultra/trail running over a weekend, High Terrain Events have a ultra trail running weekend in November details here: http://www.highterrainevents.co.uk/#!trail-running-weekends/ca3b
Example of the runs covered on the training weekend.

Thanks to everyone who follows and supports me through my adventures! 
Paul x 

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